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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — October 5, 2018 — Issue No. 826

Welcome Back To
The Wireless Messaging News

Didn't get the Presidential Alert? This is why, according to FEMA

Brett Molina, USA TODAY
Published 10:12 a.m. ET Oct. 4, 2018
Updated 4:49 p.m. ET Oct. 4, 2018

The first test of the national wireless emergency system by the Federal Emergency Management Agency is shown on a cellular phone in Detroit, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. About 225 million electronic devices across the United States received alerts from FEMA Wednesday afternoon. (AP Photo / Paul Sancya) ORG XMIT: MIPS102 (Photo: AP)

In a statement, FEMA said cellphones compatible with the Wireless Emergency Alerts system that are turned on and within range of an active cell tower were capable of getting the message.

"Additionally, if a user is on a call, or with an active data session open on their phone, they might not have received the message," FEMA said.

FEMA is encouraging the public to send comments on the test to Among the details people who did not get the alert should send: What device they use, their wireless provider, whether they were using their phone when the alert went out, and whether others nearby received the alert.


In 2002 WebLink Wireless went bankrupt and I lost my job along with about 2,000 other employees. I had lots of “money” for retirement, but is was only imaginary money in the form of stock options. This reminds me of the trite phrase “not worth the paper they were printed on.”

I had to drop my new Corvette off at the bank. They thanked me profusely for bringing the keys inside and said that most returned cars were just left in the parking lot. They were also surprised when they looked at my account and found that all of my payments had been made on time.

My 401K money was just enough to buy a new pickup truck. This all came to mind today when I read in the news that the average price for a new full-size pickup is $48,377. My new 2002 Ford F-150 was on sale for $11,925. I still have the canceled check for $12,849.18 — that included tax, tag, and title.

It is shocking to realize that the price of something as ordinary as a pickup truck has increased by about four times in just 16 years.

It is a little rusty now and dented in places but still runs good with only 167,000 miles on the odometer.

Why these personal anecdotes? Well I frequently share things that I learned about Paging and other Wireless Technology and I like to occasionally share important things (to me) that I have learned about life in general.

The point of my LESSONS LEARNED is that happiness does not depend on what kind of car you drive and the title on your business card does not define who you really are.

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.

About Us

A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.


Let's get together and share ideas. Our competitors are not other paging companies, they are other technologies.

I spend the whole week searching the INTERNET for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.

Editorial Policy

Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.

Prism-IPX Systems is growing and they are looking for more good software developers with communications experience. Additional information is available on their web site. Click here .

We need your help. This is probably the only weekly news source about paging and wireless messaging.

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There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions  (Vaughan Bowden)
IWA Technical Services, Inc.  (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications  (Phil Leavitt)
Prism Paging  (Jim Nelson & John Bishop)
Product Support Services  (PSSI, Robert Cook, et al )
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC  (Ron Mercer)

Amazing Apple Park LEGO model features entire campus in stunning detail with 85,000 pieces

Michael Potuck - Oct. 4th 2018 8:21 am PT @michaelpotuck

Apple Park has been inspiring and interesting in a wide variety of ways. From the architecture, sustainability, and cost, down to fine details like speaker design, and the chairs chosen for the campus, it is one of the most fascinating company headquarters in the world. After a two-year long project, a master LEGO craftsman has recreated Apple Park with around 85,000 pieces of the small brick blocks.

Shared on Flickr, Spencer_R said after seeing early drone footage of the Apple Park construction site, he felt he had found the right project to build a “horizontal skyscraper.”

In 2014 I came across some drone footage of an enormous circular excavation being dug into the California earth. When I discovered this was the start of the foundation for a new low-rise Apple “spaceship” campus, I knew I had found an interesting and suitable candidate.

We’ve seen some impressive custom LEGO builds on 9to5Toys over the years, but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anything quite this impressive. With a scale of 1:650, the impressive LEGO Apple Park took Spencer over two years to complete, finishing the project last month. It features around 85,000 pieces with 1,647 trees and weighs a hefty 77.5 pounds. It has an area of 19 sq. ft. that includes 28,500 square studs.

The level of detail is just amazing here, Spencer includes everything from the Steve Jobs Theater with its circular glass walls, the solar panels found across the campus buildings, the tunnels, and even the historic Glendenning Barn that Apple preserved.

Enjoy the the images below from Fabrizio Costantini, and be sure to check out the full Flickr album of Spencer’s project.

Also, take a look at Apple’s Infinite Loop Campus recreated in Minecraft by 9to5Mac’s own design expert Michael Steeber.


Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz

The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.

  • Commercial Paging systems.
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  • Public Safety Emergency Services Paging systems.
  • Demand Response Energy Grid Management.

Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.

  • Use as a stand-alone unit or in wide area network.
  • Mix with other transmitter brands in an existing paging network.
  • Adjustable from 20-250 watts.
  • 110/240 VAC or 48VDC.
  • Absolute Delay Correction.
  • Remote Diagnostics.
  • Configurable alarm thresholds.
  • Integrated Isolator.
  • Superb Reliability.
  • Improved amplifier efficiency.
  • Most reliable high-powered paging transmitter available.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email:

Back To Paging


Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!

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Easy Solutions

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Providing Expert Support and Service Contracts for all Glenayre Paging Systems.

The GL3000 is the most prolific paging system in the world and Easy Solutions gladly welcomes you to join us in providing reliable support to the paging industry for many more decades in the future.

Easy Solutions provides cost effective computer and wireless solutions at affordable prices. We can help in most any situation with your communications systems. We have many years of experience and a vast network of resources to support the industry, your system and an ever changing completive landscape.

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Experts in Paging Infrastructure

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Please see our web site for exciting solutions designed specifically for the Wireless Industry. We also maintain a diagnostic lab and provide important repair and replacement parts services for Motorola and Glenayre equipment. Call or e-mail us for more information.

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119
Telephone: 214 785-8255

Easy Solutions

Bloomberg: Super Micro motherboards used by Apple, Amazon contained Chinese spy chips

Super Micro, Amazon, and Apple deny everything in the report.

PETER BRIGHT - 10/4/2018, 11:08 AM

Tiny Chinese spy chips were embedded onto Super Micro motherboards that were then sold to companies in the US, including Amazon and Apple, reports Bloomberg. The report has attracted strenuous denials from Amazon, Apple, and Super Micro.

Bloomberg claims that the chips were initially and independently discovered by Apple and Amazon in 2015 and that the companies reported their findings to the FBI, prompting an investigation that remains ongoing. The report alleges that the tiny chips, disguised to look like other components or even sandwiched into the fiberglass of the motherboards themselves, were connected to the management processor, giving them far-reaching access to both networking and system memory. The report says that the chips would connect to certain remote systems to receive instructions and could then do things like modify the running operating system to remove password validation, thereby opening a machine up to remote attackers.

The boards were all designed by California-based Super Micro and built in Taiwan and China. The report alleges that operatives masquerading as Super Micro employees or government representatives approached people working at four particular factories to request design changes to the motherboards to include the extra chips. Bloomberg further reports that the attack was made by a unit of the People's Liberation Army, the Chinese military.

In response to the discovery, Apple is reported to have scrapped some 7,000 Super Micro servers in its data centers, and Amazon sold off a Chinese data center. Apple ended its relationship with Super Micro in 2016, although it maintains that this was for unrelated reasons.

Super Micro, Apple, and Amazon all deny every part of the Bloomberg story. Amazon says that it's untrue that "[Amazon Web Services] worked with the FBI to investigate or provide data about malicious hardware;" Apple writes that it is "not aware of any investigation by the FBI," and Super Micro similarly is "not aware of any investigation regarding this topic." Apple suggests further that Bloomberg may be misunderstanding the 2016 incident in which a Super Micro server with malware-infected firmware was found in Apple's design lab.

Apple's denial in particular is unusually verbose, addressing several different parts of the Bloomberg report explicitly, and is a far cry from the kind of vague denial that one might expect if the company were subject to a government gag order preventing it from speaking freely about the alleged hack.





“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

  • Click here for English.
  • Click here for German. (Berlin Revision: November 8, 2016)
  • Click here for French.

Here is an English PDF edit of this paper formatted with page breaks and suitable for printing.

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.


I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.

GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.

If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.


Board of Advisors

The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus, President
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.


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Prism-IPX Systems

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Critical Messaging that works
Secure . . . Dependable . . .
and Encrypted

Who We Are

Prism-IPX is a leader in providing reliable communications systems using modern designs to meet today’s demands for critical message alerting and delivery. Prism-IPX designs versatile and robust Critical Message Management systems using paging and other wireless technologies for high performance and dependable communications.

What We Make

Prism-IPX Systems products include full-featured radio paging systems with VoIP input, IP based transmitter control systems and paging message encryption. Other options include e-mail messaging, remote switch controllers, Off-The-Air paging message decoders and logging systems.

Contact Us   left arrow

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Product Support Services, Inc.

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Repair and Refurbishment Services

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PSSI Repair Pricing
Repair Turn-Around Time 5-10 Business Days
1.1 Messaging Device - Repair Fees (parts additional change, 90-day warranty)
  Model Name PSSI Model Code Model Type Pricing (USD$)
  AE-Advisor Elite AE-Advisor Elite Alphanumeric $14.25
  AG-Advisor Gold AG-Advisor Gold Alphanumeric $13.12
  ALPE-UniElite (All New Parts) ALPE-UniElite Alphanumeric $34.83
  ALPE-UniElite (Used Parts) ALPE-UniElite Alphanumeric $14.94
  ALPG-Alpha Gold ALPG-Alpha Gold Alphanumeric $14.51
  Apollo Apollo Numeric $13.37
  Bravo 850 B8-BR850 Numeric $17.02
  BF-Bravo FLX BF-Bravo FLX Numeric $11.44
  T900 T9-T900 2Way $18.56
  BP-Bravo Plus BP-Bravo Plus Numeric $11.44
  BR-Bravo LX BR-Bravo LX Numeric $11.44
  GS-Coaster Coaster Numeric $26.97
  M90-UNI Messenger M90-UNI Messenger 2Way $18.56
  NP88-UNI-NP88 NP88-UNI-NP88 Numeric $9.68
  Pronto PL-Pronto LX Numeric $9.68
  Unication Elegant EL-Elegant Numeric $14.51
  RA-Ranger RA-Ranger Numeric $12.02
  ST800 ST800 Numeric $12.02
  ST800-P ST800-P Numeric $12.02
  T3-Titan Sun Telecom T3-Titan Sun Telecom Alphanumeric $13.37
  Z4-Z400 Sun Telecom Z4-Z400 Sun Telecom Alphanumeric $12.06
1.2 Messaging Device - Miscellaneous Service Fees
  Damaged Beyond Repair Inspection Fee $1.15
  Frequency Change - Synthesized Models $3.45
  Frequency Change - Non-Synthesized Models (parts not included) $4.03
1.3 Infrastructure Network Equip. - Repair Fees (parts additional charge, 6-mth. warranty)
  Model Name PSSI Model Code  
  Motorola Amplifier MO-AMP $581.20
  Motorola SCM/Exciter MO-SCM-EXC $561.25
  Motorola External NIU MO-NIU-EXT $511.92
  Glenayre Tx Controller GL-C2000 $128.34
  Glenayre Exciter Narrow Band GL-EXC-NB $128.34
  Glenayre Exciter Wide Band GL-EXC-WB $128.34
  Glenayre </=300W Amplifier GL-T8500 $303.60
  Glenayre </=300W Amplifier GL-T8600 $303.60
1.4 Infrastructure Network Equipment - Miscellaneous Service Fees
  Inventory Receiving Processing Fee $18.40
  Pick, Pack, and Order Fulfillment Fee $29.90
  Damaged Beyond Repair Inspection Fee $80.50

Product Support Services, Inc.
511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
817-527-6322 left arrow left arrow

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VERIFY: The 'presidential alert' cannot access your phone's location, camera or microphone

John McAfee, the founder of McAfee Security, claimed the presidential alert system used an 'E911 Chip' that could access every function of your phone.

Author: Jason Puckett, David Tregde
Published: 5:32 PM EDT October 4, 2018
Updated: 7:19 PM EDT October 4, 2018

After Wednesday's nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA), claims began circling that the technology used to deliver the alert could also be used to collect information from consumers.

In one of the most shared examples came from cyber-security expert and founder of McAfee Security, John McAfee. He tweeted the following:


Does the presidential alert system use an "E911 chip" in your phone to access location, microphone, camera and other phone functions?


No, the presidential alert, Wednesday, did not use the E911 system.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as an "E911 chip."

FEMA, the FCC and mobile providers all state that the WEA services, which were used Wednesday during the presidential alert, do not allow access to consumers phones.


It is important to note that John McAfee didn't make up the term E911. That is a real system. It stands for "Enhanced 911." It's the system put in place by the FCC that allows law enforcement and emergency entities to access the GPS chip on your phone.

But according to the FCC, the system is only activated when someone calls 911. Then the cell providers must give a GPS location of the call to the emergency provider using the E911 system.

Here's the FCC page describing the program.

It explains the system as:

"The FCC's wireless Enhanced 911 (E911) rules seek to improve the effectiveness and reliability of wireless 911 services by providing 911 dispatchers with additional information on wireless 911 calls. The FCC's wireless E911 rules apply to all wireless licensees, broadband Personal Communications Service (PCS) licensees, and certain Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) licensees."

While E911 is real, it's a system - not a "chip" as McAfee claimed. It uses GPS, provided by cell carriers, to pinpoint your location after a 911 call has been made.

A T-Mobile Spokesperson told VERIFY that:

"There's no such thing as an 'e911 chip.' Enhanced 911(e911) uses the location services that are already provided by every cellphone to better pinpoint the location of someone who has an emergency. That's all e911 does and all it accesses - a caller's location and name/address if it's available to better assist emergency personnel in finding whomever is calling from a cellphone."

They added that the E911 system is completely separate from and has nothing to do with the WEA system used Wednesday for the presidential alert.

A FEMA spokesperson wrote VERIFY that:

"The cell phone functions that receive and display WEA messages are not related or connected to E911 functions in any way. The majority of wireless providers in the United State use Cell Broadcast technology to deliver WEA alert messages to cell phones. Cell Broadcast is a one-way communications protocol. Phones that receive WEA messages choose to display the message if the phone is not busy in a phone call or data session. The WEA message display function in a phone does not use the GPS, microphone, or camera functions of the phone."

Using the statements from FEMA and T-Mobile as well as the documentation about E911 from the FCC, we can Verify that John McAfee's tweet is False.


The presidential alert test did not use E911. It used a different system, WEA, that sends information to cellphones. According to FEMA, "Cell-Broadcast is a one-way communications protocol."

E911 is an unrelated system that is used to locate someone who has called 911. It uses phones built in GPS. There is no "E911 Chip."

Neither WEA nor E911 allows access to a consumers camera or microphone.




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Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.

INTERNET Protocol Terminal

The IPT accepts INTERNET or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.

An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.

Input Protocols: Serial and IP
Output Protocols: Serial and IP
FLEX (optional PURC control)   POCSAG (optional PURC control)

Additional/Optional Features

  • Database of up to 5000 subscribers.
  • 4 serial ports on board.
  • Up to 8 phone lines (DID or POTS).
  • Can be configured for auto-fail-over to hot swap standby.
  • 1RU rack mount unit appliance—no moving parts.
  • Easily secure legacy system messages leaving site for HIPAA compliance.
  • Only purchase the protocols/options you need.
  • Add Paging Encryption for HIPAA compliance on site.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email:

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Leavitt Communications

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Specialists in sales and service of equipment from these leading manufacturers, as well as other two-way radio and paging products:

UNICATION bendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COM motorola red Motorola MOBILITY spacer
Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone: 847-494-0000
Telephone: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
Skype ID: pcleavitt

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Paging Data Receiver PDR-4

The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.

Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.

  • Option—decode capcode list or all messages.
  • Large capcode capacity.
  • Serial, USB and Ethernet output.
  • POCSAG or FLEX page decoding, special SA protocols.
  • Receivers for paging bands in VHF, UHF, 900 MHz.
  • Message activated Alarm Output.
  • 8 programmable relay outputs.
  • Send notifications of a system problem.
  • Synthesized Receiver Tuning.
  • Selectivity better than 60 dB.
  • Frequencies 148-174, 450-470, 929-932 MHz.
  • Image Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Spurious Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Channel Spacing 12.5 or 25 kHz.
  • Power 5VDC.
  • Receiving Sensitivity 5µV at 1200 bps.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email:

Wireless Network Planners

Wireless Network Planners
Wireless Specialists

R.H. (Ron) Mercer
217 First Street
East Northport, NY 11731

ron mercer
Telephone: 631-786-9359 left arrow left arrow

Wireless Network Planners

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Consulting Alliance

Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

Note: We do not like Patent Trolls, i.e. “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” We have helped some prominent law firms defend their clients against this annoyance, and would be happy to do some more of this same kind of work.

Some people use the title “consultant” when they don't have a real job. We actually do consulting work, and help others based on our many years of experience.

“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.”
— Chinese Proverb

Consulting Alliance

Remote AB Switches

ABX-1 switches are often used at remote transmitter sites to convert from old, outdated and unsupported controllers to the new modern Prism-IPX ipBSC base station controllers. Remotely switch to new controllers with GUI commands.


ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.


Common Features:

  • RJ45 for A, B and Common connectors.
  • Manual push button or use Prism IP commands to switch one or more relays.
  • Single or Dual Port Control card for IP or Serial connection.
  • Form C relay—control local connection.
  • Power Loss Indicator.
  • Rear Panel Connector for controlling the switch externally.
  • Power Source: 5VDC for ABX-1; 12VDC for ABX-3.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email:

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Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update is reportedly wiping user data

Some early adopters have had their profiles emptied.

Andrii Degeler, @adegeler
October 5, 2018


Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update — referred to as the October Update or 1809 — may come with quite a few exciting new features, but could also wipe profiles with all the associated documents, music, pictures and other data. A number of reports detailing the issue have appeared on Reddit and Microsoft's support forums. Many of them apparently haven't been able to recover the deleted files.

The only possible solution that has surfaced on the forums so far is to locate and disable a group policy that deletes user profiles when they reach a certain age. This can be done by running the gpedit command in the Windows search bar and navigating to Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/User Profiles and disabling the Delete user profiles older than a specified number of days on system restart feature.

Microsoft has yet to begin pushing the Windows 10 October Update to the public, so the only people experiencing the issue are likely to be those who forced it via Windows Update. Given the circumstances, it'd definitely be wise not to rush the update and wait for guidance from the company itself.

We've reached out to Microsoft and will update this article should we receive a response.




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Leavitt Communications

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We can supply alphanumeric display, numeric display, and voice pagers.

We also offer NEW and refurbished Alphamate 250s, refurbished Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate refurbished, and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts, and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging! Outstanding service is our goal.

E-mail Phil Leavitt ( for pricing and delivery information, or for a list of other available paging and two-way related equipment.

Phil Leavitt

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Volume 6 | Issue 194


Unused Pager Tower Bites the Dust But Pagers Have Not

Recently, a 140-foot tall pager tower that has not been in use since 2005, was dismantled . . . and yes, pagers are still a thing, reported the Springfield News-Leader. A local plumbing and heating company purchased an adjacent property on which the tower stood and has plans to expand, so the tower needs to come down. Paul Flagg, who represents Arnie's Plumbing, Heating & Air, said an Internet company offered to take the tower down for free, on the condition that they get to keep the structure.

So are pager towers even still needed? Apparently so, since there’s still a market for the device, especially in hospitals, reported the News-Leader. According to Tom Jackson, who owns Midwest Paging, and rents space on 30 to 40 towers, “They're [pagers] reliable and the technology is old, but it's still functional. We penetrate buildings really well with what we do. We can get in any place in the hospital, and sometimes cell phones don't.”

Monday, October 1, 2018

This just In. . .

Kenny Waddell and family Source: GoFundMe


Tower Tech Dies in Collapse From a Snapped Guy Wire

A tower collapse took the life of tower technician Kenny Waddell of Crossville, TN on Saturday, according to the Putnam County (TN) Sheriff’s Department.

Waddell’s friend Chris Tincher told WIHG-FM 105.7 News, “Kenny was on the tower being built when apparently a guy wire stabilizing the tower on a turnbuckle snapped. Part of the tower came down with him on it. He was pronounced deceased at the scene,” he said.

Tincher told WIHG-FM, Waddell was “offered a job three months ago to construct a cell phone tower in Putnam County. Waddell had experience in the field and was working with another individual on the project Saturday when something went horribly wrong.”

Several sites can take donations that will help offset funeral costs and provide financial support for Mr. Waddell’s wife and five children. They are:

Bilbrey Funeral Home in Crossville, TN is in charge of arrangements for Kenny Waddell.

Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.

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BloostonLaw Newsletter

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Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.

 BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 21, No. 42 October 3, 2018 

FCC Issues Public Notice on Speed Testing Petitions, Deadlines Not Yet Established

On October 2, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the filing of petitions for reconsideration and applications for review of the FCC’s Performance Measure Order. For recipients of high-cost universal service support to serve fixed locations, that Order established a framework for measuring speed and latency performance, determining a recipient’s compliance with its speed and latency obligations, and providing incentives for recipients to meet those obligations.

Per the FCC’s rules, oppositions will be due no later than 15 days after publication of the Public Notice in the Federal Register, and replies will be due 10 days thereafter. The BloostonLaw Telecom Update will report the actual deadlines when they are established.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.


FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for October Open Meeting

On October 3, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the tentative agenda for its upcoming Open Meeting, which is currently scheduled for October 23. The FCC publicly releases the draft text of each item expected to be considered at this Open Commission Meeting with the exception of items involving specific, enforcement-related matters. One-page cover sheets are included in the public drafts to help summarize each item. Links to these materials are embedded in the text below.

At the meeting, the FCC will consider:

  • Unlicensed Use of the 6 GHz Band: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that promotes the use of mid-band spectrum for broadband by proposing to allow new unlicensed uses of the 5.925-7.125 GHz band while protecting existing and future licensed operations. (ET Docket No. 18-295)
  • Promoting Investment in the 3550-3700 MHz Band: a Report and Order that would make limited changes to the Citizens Broadband Radio Service in 3.5 GHz band to increase incentives for innovation and investment, including for mobile 5G services. (GN Docket No. 17-258)
  • Revitalizing the 800 MHz Band: a Report and Order and Order opening up new channels in the 800 MHz Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) band, eliminating outdated rules, and reducing administrative burdens on PLMR licensees. (WP Docket Nos. 15-32, 16-261)
  • Cable Rate Regulation: a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Report and Order to modernize its cable television rate regulations and update or eliminate outdated rules. (MB Docket Nos. 02-144, 17-105; MM Docket Nos. 92-266, 93-215; CS Docket Nos. 94-28, 96-157)
  • Paper Filing of Contracts: a Report and Order eliminating the requirement that broadcast stations routinely file paper copies of contracts and other documents with the FCC. (MB Docket Nos. 18-4, 17-105)
  • Business Data Services for Rate-of-Return Carriers Receiving Fixed Universal Service Support: a Report and Order that will allow rate-of-return carriers that receive fixed universal service support to elect incentive regulation for their business data services; a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on eliminating ex ante pricing regulation for lower capacity TDM services offered by rate-of-return carriers receiving fixed support; and a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to eliminate ex ante pricing regulation for TDM transport services offered by price cap carriers. (WC Docket Nos. 17-144, 16-143, 05-25)

Open Meetings are streamed live at and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.

FCC Releases Fact Sheet on Upcoming CBRS Report and Order

On October 3, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly released a Fact Sheet summarizing an item on the agenda for the next Open Meeting that would revise rules governing the Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS), which will utilize spectrum between 3.55 to 3.70 GHz. According to Commissioner O’Rielly, “the focus will be on correcting policy mistakes made pertaining to the Priority Access Licenses (PALs) back when rules were adopted in April 2015 & May 2016.”

According to the Fact Sheet, the draft item proposes to:

  • auction licenses by counties instead of by census tracts, with an option to bid for all counties in the largest markets as a package;
  • modify rules to reaffirm the FCC’s long-standing practice to provide longer license terms with an expectation of renewal for providers in compliance with its rules, reversing the current rules which implement short license terms with no license renewability expectation;
  • return to the FCC’s previous auction rules which allowed all seven PALs to be available in all counties; modify the rules to accommodate wider bandwidths for 5G technologies, while maintaining the existing interference protections for other services operating outside the CBRS band; and
  • require SAS Administrators make aggregated spectrum usage data available, which will enable potential CBRS providers to make investment and deployment decisions.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Seeks Comment on TCPA in Light of 9th Circuit Decision

On October 3, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on how to interpret the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), following the recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Marks v. Crunch San Diego, LLC. Comments are due October 17, and reply comments are due October 24.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the court declared “the statutory language ambiguous on its face” as to the question of whether the phrase “using a random or sequential number generator” modifies both “store” and “produce.” The court then read the phrase “using a random or sequential number generator” not to apply to equipment that has the capacity “to store numbers to be called.” In other words, the court interpreted the statutory language expansively so that an “automatic telephone dialing system” is “not limited to devices with the capacity to call numbers produced by a ‘random or sequential number generator,’ but also includes devices with the capacity to store numbers and to dial stored numbers automatically.”

Carriers interested in participating in this proceeding should contact the firm for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.

Comment Deadline Established for CAF Phase II Location Discrepancy Resolutions

On September 28, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Public Notice seeking comment on approaches to identify and resolve apparent discrepancies between the number of model-determined funded locations that CAF Phase II auction support recipients are expected to serve (funded locations) and the actual number of locations that support recipients can serve (actual locations). Comments are due October 29, and reply comments are due November 13.

Under the FCC’s proposal, carriers seeking to demonstrate discrepancies between model-determined funded locations and actual funded locations would report tabular data on actual locations, including addresses and geographic coordinates via the HUBB Portal or a similar web-based data submission application managed by USAC. The FCC would review the actual location evidence submitted by Phase II Auction support recipients and, within 60 days of their filing deadline, announce prima facie cases for adjustment based on the submission of relevant and complete data. Relevant stakeholders will then have 90 days to submit evidence and rebuttals. The FCC proposes to evaluate the merits of a carrier’s claim by a “preponderance of the evidence standard,” with carriers bearing the burden of persuasion.

The Public Notice seeks comment on a number of particulars associated with the proposed evaluation method, including how to define an “actual location” for purposes of this review process; whether to require that carriers use a particular method to identify the geo-coordinates and addresses of actual locations or permit carriers to choose their method(s) and correct for inaccuracies; and how to define “relevant stakeholders,” such as state and local authorities and Tribal governments.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.

FCC Provides Update on Mobility Fund Phase II Challenge Portal

On October 1, the FCC issued a Public Notice providing the fifth update about the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) challenge process. As of September 30, 2018, a total of 105 entities have access to the Universal Service Administrator Company (USAC) MF-II Challenge Process Portal to participate in the MF-II challenge process. Of these entities, 38 are mobile service providers required to file Form 477 data; 19 are state government entities; 26 are local government entities; 16 are Tribal government entities; and six are other entities that have filed petitions requesting, and have each been granted, a waiver to participate. While the number of speed tests on file varies on a daily basis, given that participants can add, remove, and re-upload data files during the filing window, a total of over 6.6 million speed tests have been submitted during the course of challenge process.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast.

Law & Regulation

Justice Department Sues California Over Net Neutrality Law

On September 30, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it has filed a lawsuit against the state of California alleging that Senate Bill 822, an Internet regulation bill signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown which, according to the complaint, unlawfully imposes burdens on the Federal Government’s deregulatory approach to the Internet. The bill prohibits ISPs from engaging in certain activities that impact a consumer’s ability to lawfully access content on the Internet, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Intentionally blocking lawful content, slowing or speeding traffic, or otherwise interfering with access to lawful content on the basis of source, destination, Internet content, application, or service, or use of a non-harmful device.
  • Engaging in third-party paid prioritization.
  • Selectively zero-rating some Internet content, applications, services, or devices or zero-rating in exchange for consideration or payment.
  • Engaging in practices that have the purpose of evading net neutrality requirements. This prohibition may not be construed as prohibiting ISP traffic exchange agreements that comply with net neutrality requirements.
  • Failing to publicly disclose accurate information about the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services to enable consumers to make informed choices about those services.
  • Requiring consideration from edge providers, monetary or otherwise, for access to an ISP’s end users.

In filing the complaint, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued the following statement:

“Under the Constitution, states do not regulate interstate commerce—the federal government does. Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy. The Justice Department should not have to spend valuable time and resources to file this suit today, but we have a duty to defend the prerogatives of the federal government and protect our Constitutional order. We will do so with vigor. We are confident that we will prevail in this case—because the facts are on our side.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement:

“I’m pleased the Department of Justice has filed this suit. The Internet is inherently an interstate information service. As such, only the federal government can set policy in this area. And the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently reaffirmed that state regulation of information services is preempted by federal law.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.

Senate Commerce To Hold Hearing on Rural Broadband

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled “Broadband: Opportunities and Challenges in Rural America” at 10:00 a.m. on October 4, 2018. According to the announcement, this hearing “allows the Committee, as part of its ongoing efforts, to assess the progress of broadband deployment in rural America and continue to explore ways in which closing the digital divide will benefit American jobs and the economy.”

Witnesses at the hearing will be: Mr. Godfrey Enjady, General Manager, Mescalero Apache Telecom, Inc.; Mr. Denny Law, General Manager and CEO, Golden West Telecommunications; Ms. Mona Thompson, General Manager, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority; and Mr. Grant Spellmeyer, Vice President, Federal Affairs and Public Policy, U.S. Cellular Corp.

The hearing will be webcast live at, and written testimony and a recording of the webcast will be available later.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.


Chairman Pai Discusses “5G FAST” Strategy Plan

At the White House 5G Summit earlier this week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai discussed his “comprehensive strategy to Facilitate America’s Superiority in 5G Technology (the 5G FAST Plan).” The Chairman’s strategy includes three key components: (1) pushing more spectrum into the marketplace; (2) updating infrastructure policy; and (3) modernizing regulations.

Spectrum. The first part of the Plan entails FCC action to make additional spectrum available for 5G services:

  • High-band: The FCC will hold its first 5G spectrum auctions this year in the 28 GHz and 24 GHz bands. In 2019, the FCC will auction the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. With these auctions, the FCC will release almost 5 gigahertz of 5G spectrum into the market—more than all other flexible use bands combined. The FCC is also preparing to free up another 2.75 gigahertz of 5G spectrum in the 26 and 42 GHz bands.
  • Mid-band: The FCC hopes that its work on the 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 3.7-4.2 GHz bands will make up to 844 megahertz available for 5G deployments.
  • Low-band: The FCC has made targeted changes to the 600 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz bands, hoping to improve use of low-band spectrum (useful for wider coverage) for 5G services
  • Unlicensed: The FCC is working on creating new opportunities for the next generation of Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz and above 95 GHz band.

Infrastructure Policy. The second part of the Plan entails updating infrastructure policy and encouraging the private sector to invest in 5G networks.

  • Speeding Up Federal Review of Small Cells: The FCC adopted new rules that will reduce federal regulatory impediments to deploying the small-cell infrastructure needed for 5G (as opposed to large cell towers) and help to expand the reach of 5G for faster, more reliable wireless service.
  • Speeding Up State and Local Review of Small Cells: The FCC has reformed rules designed decades ago to accommodate small cells. The reforms ban short-sighted municipal roadblocks that have the effect of prohibiting deployment of 5G and give states and localities a reasonable deadline to approve or disapprove small-cell siting applications.

Modernizing Regulations. The third part of the Plan involves modernizing regulations to promote 5G backhaul and “digital opportunities.”

  • Restoring Internet Freedom: The FCC adopted the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which sets a consistent national policy for Internet providers.
  • One-Touch Make-Ready: The FCC has updated its rules governing the attachment of new network equipment to utility poles in order to reduce cost and speed up the process for 5G backhaul deployment.
  • Speeding the IP Transition: The FCC has revised its rules to make it easier for companies to invest in next-generation networks and services instead of the fading networks of the past.
  • Business Data Services: In order to incentivize investment in modern fiber networks, the FCC updated rules for high-speed, dedicated services by lifting rate regulation where appropriate.
  • Supply Chain Integrity: The FCC has proposed to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a national security threat to the integrity of American communications networks or the communications supply chain.

During his remarks, Chairman Pai said: “The steps we’re taking under the 5G FAST plan are critical to advancing 5G. But for the U.S. to set the pace, we’ll all need to do our part. Today’s gathering is evidence that leaders across the Administration are committed to tackling this challenge. I look forward to working with all of you to lead the world in 5G, to grow our economy, and to deliver digital opportunity to the American people.”


OCTOBER 15: 911 RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION. Covered 911 Service Providers, which are defined as entities that “[p]rovide[] 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority,” or that “[o]perate[] one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP,” are required certify that they have taken reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to three substantive requirements: (i) 911 circuit diversity; (ii) central office backup power; and (iii) diverse network monitoring by October 15. Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.

NOVEMBER 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-a-Glance

Oct. 8 – Reply comments are due on FCC Request to Refresh the Record on Robocalling.
Oct. 15 – 911 Reliability Certifications are due.
Oct. 15 – Auction 903 Long Form is due.
Oct. 16 – Reply comments are due on IP CTS NPRM.
Oct. 16 – Comments are due on IP CTS NOI.
Oct. 17 – Comments are due on TCPA Public Notice.
Oct. 24 – Reply Comments are due on TCPA Public Notice.
Oct. 29 – Comments are due on Phase II Location Discrepancy Resolution Process.
Oct. 29 – Comments are due on 2005-2006 Rule Elimination PN.
Oct. 29 – Comments are due on 3.7 GHz NPRM.

Nov. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Nov. 5 – ETRS Form Three is due.
Nov. 13 – Reply comments are due on Phase II Location Discrepancy Resolution Process.
Nov. 15 – Reply comments are due on IP CTS NOI.
Nov. 27 – Reply comments are due on 3.7 GHz NPRM.

December Dec. 20 – Form 323 (Biennial Ownership Report) is due.

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.


Harold Mordkofsky, 202-828-5520,
Benjamin H. Dickens, Jr., 202-828-5510,
Gerard J. Duffy, 202-828-5528,
John A. Prendergast, 202-828-5540,
Richard D. Rubino, 202-828-5519,
Mary J. Sisak, 202-828-5554,
D. Cary Mitchell, 202-828-5538,
Salvatore Taillefer, Jr., 202-828-5562,

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Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries

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Power Generators: The Rest of the Story

How the unit performs is where the rubber really hits the road

SEP 12, 2018

Fellow writer Charles S. “Buc” Fitch penned a multi-part series on backup power generators in the the Feb. 7, April 18, June 13 and Aug. 8 issues of Radio World Engineering Extra. (Read them at, keyword “Fitch.”) Buc did a great job explaining the theory behind generators.

But let me tell you the rest of the story; the important part is how well a generator performs in the field.


A backup power generator’s job is to emulate utility power as closely as possible. Fig. 1 shows an oscilloscope looking at the almost sinusoidal voltage waveform from my local power company. Measured harmonic distortion was 2.0 percent. Anything up to 6 percent is acceptable in my book. When I say harmonic distortion, I mean unintended energy at two, three and four times the 60 Hz fundamental frequency plus noise. Pure 60 Hz would have zero distortion.

Fig. 1: Utility power with 2 percent harmonic distortion.

Waveform appearance will vary depending on what loads are present on the power line. Those loads are inside a facility and outside where other customers are using power from the same line.

Some of those loads might be in an industrial park causing the waveform to be worse. In this case, wave tops are rounded off because current drawn is greatest on the voltage peaks, thus pulling the peak voltage down. Fully loaded transformers can overheat and fail, if the waveform is not a clean sine wave.

Fig. 2: The output of an APC SmartUPS 3000 when it is running on battery power.

Many uninterruptible power supplies are rated to have an output with 6 percent or less harmonic distortion when they are online (Fig. 2 illustrates that). I measured just under 2 percent distortion on an APC SmartUPS 3000, with a 1500 watt load, which made it slightly better than utility power because the peaks were not rounded off. Voltage peaks are a bit jagged, but the overall picture is a sine wave.

Fig. 3: A Kohler 22RY generator supporting air conditioning.

Fig. 3 shows a 22 kW Kohler model 22RY backup power generator loaded to about 60 percent, including a three-ton air conditioning unit. The manufacturer put tight electronic controls on engine speed and the voltage regulator. Fig. 4 shows that with just 2.5 percent distortion, Kohler did the smart thing by utilizing a Ford four-cylinder four-cycle industrial engine in this unit. It has proven its reliability over the past 14 years while running on propane fuel.

Fig. 4: Harmonic distortion 2.5 percent on generator at 60 Hz.


What I like about propane or natural gas is the fact that they last forever. These fuels do not degrade with time. My opinion is that gasoline is the worst choice. Even with fuel stabilizing additives, gas goes bad and may not still be good enough when needed most.

A friend brought over a Sportsman brand Gen 4000 gasoline-driven portable generator. The waveform looked good until it was loaded to 50 percent with an electric space heater. Then the wave shape changed. In Fig. 5, harmonic distortion went past 10 percent at that point. This unit is OK for keeping many appliances running, but required careful selection to find a UPS unit that would not stay on battery with this kind of power.

Fig. 5: A Sportsman Gen 4000 plant with a 50 percent load.

Fig. 6 shows the output of a Winco 1999 vintage PSS8000, 8 kW ground-mounted (3 feet x 2 feet x 2.5 feet) generator plant. The jagged waveform pegged the needle on my distortion analyzer, which can only measure to 10 percent. The picture changed little from no load to 4 kW when I tested it. Like many generators with a cost-conscious design, an air vane near the engine flywheel is used to regulate engine speed. The goal is to have 60 Hz at the generator output terminals. Engine speed can vary with temperature, humidity and load conditions, thus affecting frequency. Better plants use electronic controls to regulate engine RPM.

Fig. 6: A Winco PSS8000 generator ragged waveform.

I also tested a gasoline-powered Honda EU2000i Generator, with inverter technology, which came in at about 1 percent harmonic distortion with a 70 percent load. Basically, it is a UPS that is gas driven. Its inverter is clean because it electronically creates 60 Hz with low waveform distortion. The penalty is higher cost. Fig. 7 shows a typical 3 kW gasoline driven plant at half load. Measured harmonic distortion came out to 6 percent, my benchmark for good versus bad.



Meanwhile, you’ll need an uninterruptible power supply to keep computers running for seamless programming. Each UPS has its own tolerance to line fault conditions. It is more than coming online when power fails.

Let’s say your backup generator is putting out power at 58 Hz instead of 60 Hz. Many UPS units will switch to and stay on battery even when there is 120 VAC power. A similar thing happens when the waveform is something other than a sine wave.

For some “less than great” backup generator plants, one client had to test five UPS units until one was found that would accept less-than-ideal power.


Who is to say that you or another technically qualified person will be there to run a backup power generator the instant utility power fails? Not likely. After all, a 40-hour work week represents less than 24 percent of the total time in seven days.

The hospital standard requires a generator to automatically start and come online in just 10 seconds. Yes, it can be done. Some systems take longer.

Fig. 8 shows a Kohler 240 VAC/200 ampere automatic transfer switch. It measures in at 24 inches high x 18 inches wide x 11 inches deep — likely that would be all you need at a studio.

Fig. 8: A Kohler 200 ampere automatic transfer panel.


Most electricians, in my experience, think in terms of supporting the most important part of a facility with a generator plant. That leaves many circuits with no power during an outage. Human desire to keep everything running will result in extension cords running down hallways and under doors. This is a bad scenario, if only from the standpoint of creating a trip hazard.

You can do facility load calculations, but my recommendation is to use a clamp-on AC ammeter to measure actual current draw on incoming power cables in a building’s electrical load center. (See Fig. 9.) Do it with air conditioning and all other loads turned on. Plan on an automatic power transfer switch to interrupt and replace all power to the facility.

Fig. 9: A clamp-on ammeter measuring actual current draw.

AM transmitters require better generator regulation, as they draw about 50 percent power more while being modulated. A generator needs to be able to keep up with that changing load.

Compare pricing on power generators. You’ll find that the up charge for doubling a generator size is not twice the price.

You might pick one that can handle everything except the air conditioner. In that case, a relay to sense a power outage can be used to interrupt the low voltage/low current control line to the air conditioner’s compressor. Everything will continue running, except the actual cooling, which is easy enough to do.


My hometown of 13,000 people (80,000 market size) suffered a 24.5 hour power outage after a tornado came through in 2001. The entire city was shut down. Supermarkets threw out food by the ton.

One radio group of three stations stayed on the air with backup power while five other stations did not. My records show a 20 kW generator, loaded to 70 percent, will use about three gallons of propane per hour.


Ask a generator salesman for a list of local users. Take an oscilloscope to one or more of those locations to see a generator in action under load conditions. If the waveform does not closely resemble a sine wave, then try another brand.

At the very least, use several UPS units as a test instruments. If they accept generator power, then likely it is OK.


The power quality of generators varies substantially. Know what you are getting into before spending money. It makes perfect sense.


Mark Persons, WØMH, is an SBE Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer and is now retired after more than 40 years in business. His website is


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“Inside The Most Precise Atomic Clock in the World”

Published on Oct 4, 2018

From his basement lab in Boulder, Colorado, physicist Jun Ye and his team have built the world’s most precise atomic clock. The clock is so powerful it can measure otherwise imperceptible changes in the physical world. “Have you ever seen the movie called Interstellar? You’ll see some of that in our lab, it’s not science fiction. You can actually see clocks slow down,” explains Ye.

In episode seven of The Most Unknown, geobiologist Victoria Orphan travels to JILA—a physics institute jointly operated by the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST—to untangle questions of space and time with Ye and his otherworldly atomic clock.

Source: YouTube  

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